Most electrical outlets run on 120 volts and pull 15 amps. You’ll see the circuit breakers in the electrical panel have numbers on the switches. These let you know the amps that are allowed to flow from the panel to the socket. While replacing a socket isn’t all that difficult, you should definitely use caution when working with electricity. Don’t ever assume the electricity is off at the socket location because a circuit breaker is switched off. Be sure to test the socket before you begin to replace electrical plug sockets.
1. First, you need to locate the electrical panel. Find the circuit breaker that controls the flow of electricity to the electrical plug socket that you’re looking to replace. Switch the breaker to the off position. Plug an appliance into the socket to test it before you start your project.
2. Take off the socket cover plate with a screwdriver. Back out the screws at the top and bottom of the sockets. Pull the socket out so that you see the electrical wires.
3. Cut the wires next to the socket with wire cutters for sockets with wires that are pushed into a hole. Loosen the screws that are holding the wires to the socket for those that connect on the sides of the socket.
4. Strip enough insulation from the cut wires for the new connection, which is usually around 3/4 inch, with wire strippers. Make sure you check the manufacturer’s instructions for installing the new socket. If there are no instructions, go ahead to the next step.
5. Loosen the screws on the sides of the new socket. If the old socket had four wires connected to it, the new socket will require the same in order to work correctly. Find the two white wires that come from the wall and bend the ends over a little bit with needle nose pliers.
6. Connect the white wires to the silver-colored terminals on the new socket. Then bend the ends of the black wires just like you did with the white wires. Connect them to the gold-colored terminals and wrap electrical tape around the socket so the terminals on both sides are covered.
7. Now push the wires back into the wall. You should then secure the socket to the junction box with the screws that came with the socket. Make sure they are tight and replace the cover plate.
8. Head back to the electrical panel and locate the circuit breaker you switched to the off position and switch it back on.